The Supreme Court today released the calendar for its February sitting, which starts on Tuesday, February 20 (because Monday, February 19, is a federal holiday) and ends on Wednesday, February 28. The justices will hear nine oral arguments over five days, with the highest-profile argument of the sitting coming on February 26 in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the challenge to the constitutionality of the fees paid by government employees who are represented by, but do not belong to, a union. The justices have already held oral arguments on the question presented by Janus twice before; they did not decide the issue the first time, while they deadlocked the second time in the wake of the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
The oral argument in Janus will be followed the next day by oral argument in a major digital privacy case, United States v. Microsoft. In that case, the justices agreed to decide whether, after being served with a warrant, the software giant must provide the federal government with emails, even when the email records are stored outside the United States.
The other cases scheduled for February are:
Currier v. Virginia (February 20): Whether, when a defendant is indicted on multiple charges and consents to having them tried separately, he can benefit from an acquittal at the first trial, or whether the protections of the double jeopardy clause evaporate.
City of Hayes, Kansas v. Vogt (February 20): Whether the Fifth Amendment, which provides that no one “shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself,” is violated when statements are used at a probable cause hearing but not at a criminal trial.
Rosales-Mireles v. United States (February 21): Whether the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit applied too harsh a standard — requiring that the error be one “that would shock the conscience of the common man, serve as a powerful indictment against our system of justice, or seriously call into question the competence or integrity of the district judge” – in determining whether to correct a plain error by the district court.
Dahda v. United States (February 21): Whether Title III of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2510–2520, requires suppression of evidence obtained pursuant to a wiretap order that is facially insufficient because the order exceeds the judge’s territorial jurisdiction.
Ohio v. American Express (February 26): Whether, under the “rule of reason,” the government’s showing that American Express’ anti-steering provisions stifle price competition on the merchant side of the credit-card platform suffices to prove anti-competitive effects and thereby shifts to American Express the burden of establishing any pro-competitive benefits from the provisions.
Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach (February 27): Whether the existence of probable cause defeats a First Amendment retaliatory-arrest claim as a matter of law.
Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky (February 28): Whether a Minnesota law that broadly bans all political apparel at the polling place is facially overbroad under the First Amendment.